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LAS CRUCES, N.M. — The Christmas holiday may have added a new family member in the form a pet to many households but the Animal Service Center of the Mesilla Valley said it is important to spay and neuter new pets.
Animals from a shelter or rescue are already spayed and neutered but some from private breeders are not and could contribute to an already overpopulated area.
"Since 2009 we've had 69,000 animals come into this center," said ASCMV Executive Director Dr. Beth Vesco-Mock.
Vesco-Mock said 55 percent of those animals have been euthanized due to a lack of available adopters.
The center has adopted out more than 11,000 thousand during a 4-year period but there is a concern with the projected 13,000 animals coming into the shelter annually.
"We do not need more puppies in this community and we do not need more kittens in this community," Vesco-Mock said.
She added the biggest contributor to the population problem are accidental litters.
Vesco-Mock said most of those puppies and kittens are given to family and friends but not spayed or neutered making the problem even worse.
"I'm a true believer in not adding and throughly enjoying what you have," said Joann Milam as she walked her one-year-old Chihuahua-mix.
Milam said she had her dog fixed and does so with each of her pets.
"It's so disheartening seeing so many animals on the street not being cared for," Milam said.
Vesco-Mock said cats will be coming in heat as early as February resulting in a larger cat population if animals are not fixed.
The shelter offers low cost services on a daily basis with appointments in advance for only $35 for dogs and $25 for cats.
The ideal age for surgery is between four to six months but older animals can also be fixed as long as they're healthy.
For more information contact the ASCMV at 575/382-0018.
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